Unit History: RAF Chivenor

RAF Chivenor
Royal Marines Base Chivenor (IATA: N/A, ICAO: EGDC) is a British military base used primarily by the Royal Marines. It is situated on the northern shore of the Taw estuary, adjacent to the South West Coast Path, on the North coast of Devon, England.
Originally a civil airfield opened in the 1930s, the Royal Air Force took over the site in May of 1940 for use as a Coastal Command Station, calling it RAF Chivenor. After World War II, the station was largely used for training, particularly weapons training. During the 1960s, one of the RAF’s Tactical Weapons Units (TWU) used Hawker Hunter aircraft for training. In 1974, the station was left on "care and maintenance", though No. 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron continued to fly from there. The TWU returned flying BAE Hawks in 1979 and 1981. In 1994, the TWU left Chivenor, merging with No. 4 Flying Training School at RAF Valley, with the RAF handing the airfield over to the Royal Marines. The Marines have an existing equipment testing base at Arromanches Camp, in Instow, located across the Taw Estuary and approximately two miles from Chivenor.
The RAF still has the "A" flight of 22 Squadron, with two search and rescue Sea King helicopters stationed there, and No. 624 Volunteer Gliding Squadron operating Vigilant T1 motor gliders.
In a spending review that was announced over the summer of 2004, the presence of 22 Squadron at Chivenor was under review. After the flooding at Boscastle, this threat was rescinded. However, future defence spending cuts may still see the withdrawal of the Royal Marines and the closure of the fixed-wing airbase.

Added on 25/11/2009

On the 13th June 1934 the airfield officially opened as the Barnstaple & North Devon Airport. On 25 Oct 1940 it became RAF Chivenor as a training station within No. 17 Group Coastal Command. The following month it became operational with the formation of No. 3 (Coastal) Operational Training Unit, flying Beauforts and Ansons.
This Royal Air Force Station (please note "Station" not "Base")Has a rich flying history flying such types as: Blenheims, Beaufighters, Wellingtons, Whitleys, Seafires, Halifaxes, Fortresses, Spitfires, Martinets, Harvards, Tiger Moths, Buckmasters, Tempests, Vampires, Meteors, Sabres, Hunters and finally, BAE Hawk T1s (not forgetting its Air Sea Rescue helicopters).
The Station closed on 30th Aug 1974 and the Tactical Weapons Unit transferred to RAF Brawdy.
On 1st Aug 1980 the Station was re-activated as an additional TWU flying Hawk T Mk1s.
Finally,on 24th Mar 1995 the Station closed its doors leaving only A Flt of 22 Sqn Sea Kings for Air Sea Rescue.
On 1st Oct 1995 the Station was handed over to the Royal Marines.
I served six and a half years at Chivenor and have many happy memories of my time there.

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